Thou Whose Birth


SATB choir, soprano solo; optional harp

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The Choral Society of Durham
Rodney Wynkoop, director

The Choral Society of Durham
Rodney Wynkoop, director

Choral score, ECS No. 7202
Harp part (opt.), ECS No. 7203

Program Notes

Thou Whose Birth was commissioned in 2007 for a Christmas program presented by the Choral Society of Durham under the direction of Rodney Wynkoop.   The work is written in two parts, the first part setting Swinburne’s nativity poem, “Thou Whose Birth,” and the second part setting the response, “Dona nobis pacem,”  incorporating themes from the first part.   The two parts were intended to be “bookends” in the larger program, with the second part ending the program. The two parts may be performed together as one work, extracted separately, or split on a larger program as originally conceived.


Thou whose birth on earth Angels sang to men, While the stars made mirth, Savior, at thy birth This day born again. As this night was bright With thy cradle-ray, Very light of light, Turn the wild world’s night To thy perfect day. Bid our peace increase, Thou that madest morn. Bid oppressions cease. Bid the night be peace. Bid the day be born. –from the Christmas Antiphons of C.A. Swinburne.

Dona nobis pacem